Evaluation and Support

Evaluation

A healthy teaching profession recognizes and rewards its excellent teachers, helps all teachers to grow, and when necessary counsels out its lowest performers.

Robust teacher evaluation systems provide teachers, schools, districts, and states with the means to this end. Diverse perspectives of teachers' impact on student learning, including objective measures, need to be considered. We know these systems are working if they can distinguish the full range of talent, not just a thumbs up or down, and serve as the engine for teachers' development. That's what robust means.

State of the States 2019: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy

Oct 2019

No fewer than 30 states have recently withdrawn at least one of the evaluation reforms that they adopted during a flurry of national activity between 2009 and 2015. Notably, nine fewer states now require teacher evaluations to include objective measures of student growth. Fewer states also now require annual evaluations for all teachers, for teachers who receive low evaluation ratings to be put on improvement plans, and both objective measures of student growth and annual evaluations for principals.

A Word from Kate Walsh

A Word from Kate Walsh

Nothing in education has been more disappointing than many school districts' reticence to genuinely consider more robust evaluation systems. The many benefits such systems offer have been drowned out by some legitimate but not insurmountable concerns. There's been a lack of imagination for solutions and an unwillingness to give new, fairer tests a chance. Still, it's too early to give up as there are some successful innovators in this space. Others cannot be far behind.

The evolution of state policies for teacher evaluations:

In 2009, only 15 states required evaluations to include some measure of a teacher's impact on student learning.

Today, much has changed - on paper, at least. Now 39 states require districts to assess a teacher's impact on learning as part of their evaluation and include this measure in their definition of an effective teacher. These policies now need to be merged with practice.

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A strong evaluation system can pave the way to fairer, data-driven decision making in every stage in a teacher's career. Three states are lighthouse innovators: Delaware, Florida, and Louisiana. 

Explore These States

Looking at our sample of 147 of the largest districts in the nation, we examined what each uses to measure a teacher's performance. 

The most common measure is the classroom observation of a teacher, with the state test a close second. 

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The right evaluation system links to key decisions that affect a teacher's career trajectory.

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Explore Evaluation

Explore Evaluation by clicking on the blog posts and publications. Filter the content by selecting subtopics below.

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